The Truth About Rock is absolutely terrifying
A few days ago, Angus T. Jones had some sort of crisis of conscious. In a video for a church in Alabama, he urged people to stop watching his show, Two and a Half Men. "Please stop filling your head with filth," he implored. "People say it's just entertainment. The fact that it's entertainment...do some research on the effects of television on your brain, and I promise you, you'll have a decision to make when it comes to television, and especially what you watch on television. It's bad news. I don't know if it means any more coming from me, um, but you might not have heard it otherwise." Actually, Angus, I have heard it otherwise, many years ago, in fact -- only this same sort of sentiment was applied to music, not television.
Growing up, I went to a small private school in north Denver. In retrospect, the rules at this institution were rather repressive, some might even say draconian. Honestly, from the line we were expected to toe, you'd have thought it was the '50s. Let's just put it this way: Corporal punishment was completely permissible, and if your hair even thought of touching your collar, well, then, you were just asking for it, buddy. I have stories for days, including one that involves a teacher "laying hands" on a typewriter presumably in an effort to exorcise it of its, uh, I don't know, demons, I guess?
No shit. That happened.
Oh, did I mention this was a Christian school?
That's probably a helpful piece of information to have here, particularly for the purposes of contextualization, especially for what I'm about to share with you, what has to be my all-time favorite anecdote in the history of history, or at least among the most amusing memories of entire my misspent youth:
Every week, we had these hour-long (and sometimes longer) chapel sessions. It was a ritualistic part of our curriculum that involved all of us students convening in an all-purpose room downstairs to worship Jesus collectively and talk about/examine our faith. Sometimes we'd have guests (the pastoral parent of one of my classmates who came armed with a wad of bills and would bless some of us with cold hard cash at the end of his sermonizing was always a hit), and sometimes the teachers would just take turns proselytizing.
The chapel that I remember the most, however, the one that is just so freaking awesome and just utterly ridiculous in hindsight, is the one in which they rolled in an AV cart with a TV perched on top and plugged into a VCR player. Yes! A movie! Maybe it's the one we saw at church about the Rapture when the believers who get left behind get beheaded for not taking the mark, we all thought. But, alas, no. While that one always effectively scared the hell out of us, this was way better that that. This was a program exposing us to the ills of and the inherent evil embedded in that demon rock and roll -- or secular music, as we'd come to know it -- that we'd all been warned against.
Now keep in mind, it's been a really long time since I first saw this film, so I can't say for certain if this was the exact video we watched, but given the time frame, the hosts, the content and the running time, I'd say this little YouTube gem I found below called the Truth About Rock is likely the earth-shattering expose (seriously, take a few minutes to watch the clip; you'll be glad you did) in question, if not some variation thereof. Either way, the sentiments expressed are precisely the same, and the intro sounds strikingly familiar:
Are you ready for truth about rock? Truth About Rock, the rock music seminar that has swept the nation. The Peters Brothers' seminars and bonfires have drawn press attention from coast to coast. Watch as they expose the flip side of the rock industry. The world of double meanings and double standards, backwards masking and backwards morals. Over five million dollars of rock and roll has been burned after these seminars. Don't miss Truth About Rock!
Hosted by Dan and Steve Peters, authors of the book, Why Knock Rock?, the entire segment is just terrawesome, particularly the voice over in particular, which sounds conspiciously like Dan Aykroyd in Dragnet and has that classic '70s-era grindhouse feel. Although the informerical was ostensibly designed and intended to help fortify us against the wiles of rock music, really, it probably ended up doing more harm than good, as ultimately it ended up serving as a tipsheet of sorts, pointing us to new bands to explore, or worse, calling attention to unspeakably depraved acts that I'm pretty sure none of us had even considered (um, necrophilia, anyone?). Fortunately, as virginal as we were back then, few of us were that impressionable, which made the video seem all the more superfluous.